For those who ride purpose-built MTB or remote gravel trails the need for a bell is few and far between. For riders on shared trails and high-traffic paths and tracks a bell is potentially one of the most important components for assuring a trouble-free time on the trail.
Granite’s Cricket bell is a really well-made bell with the bonus of two modes, single strike and cowbell mode which makes it a great option for alerting people around you of your presence when out on a MTBing, gravel riding, bikepacking, or commuting.
The Cricket's main selling point is the fact it has two bell modes. For commuting and regular riding, you can use the single-strike mode which works as expected. On a trail where you need your thumbs wrapped around the bars rather than hovering over the bell, it can be switched into automatic cowbell mode. Changing mode is easy by simply pulling down on the body of the bell to release the clapper.
A 3mm hex key is used to fix the Cricket to the bars and Granite includes a couple of spacers in the box so the bell can be fitted to 22.2mm, 31.8mm, and 35mm bar widths, covering all MTB, gravel, and road handler widths. The bell sits under the handlebar too which should keep it out of the way of damage or causing any additional injuries if you find yourself laid out on the bar or the bike tumbling down the trail. The band itself is a little bulky which may make it difficult to mount in the perfect position on an MTB alongside your brake levers, shifters, or dropper remote, although this will be an issue with a majority of bells.
I used the Cricket on a ride that featured many busy sections of multi-use trails and canal paths and it was well received by those around me. The Cricket bell’s reasonably loud with a decent range to give people plenty of warning and has a pleasing tone that inoffensively alerts other people that you're approaching. Pulling down the body of the bell to put the Cricket in auto cowbell mode is easy, this gives the advantage that you do not need to readjust your hand if you need to ring the bell, as well as warning people who might not see you coming, although it's not as loud as the regular ding.
There were no stray dings either which if you are on a long bikepacking trip or commuting daily could get tiresome very quickly. As it mounts under the handlebar the bell is also pretty subtle keeping your bike's dork factor to a minimum.
Simple and effective bell to keep you on the good side with other trail users with its pleasing ting or thumb-free cow bell mode. Modern handlebars are pretty cluttered so you might not get the Cricket mounted in the best position. Pricing is good as well compared to other similar products like the Timber! V4.0 bike bell.
Tech specs: Granite Cricket Bell
- Price: $20.99 / £19.99
- Options: Band-on (fits 22.2mm, 31.8mm, and 35mm)
- Weight: 42g